Lying 103km east of Skardu is Khaplu, a town of approximately 150,000, serving as the capital of Gilgit-Baltistan’s Ghanche District. Elevated at a height of 8,532 feet, Khaplu valley is an ideal gateway area for trekking and tourism, as well as being famous for it’s scenic beauty and historical views. Being a Buddhist stronghold in the past, the town is now populated with Nurbakshis, the followers of Sufism, as well as Sunnis, Shias and Aga Khanis alike. However, one is free to pray in whichever mosque they wish to, regardless of religious sect.
The best time to visit the valley is between the months of April to October, when the weather is between 20° to 30°C. Boasting an array of historical architecture, Khaplu hosts the 700 year old restored Chaqchan Mosque and the beautiful Khaplu Palace, as well as being renowned for its lush supply of apples, apricots and fruit. The valley, along with Hushe valley, leads to the sub-range of the Karakoram mountains. Ghanche and the Khaplu are are esteemed for their rich cultural heritage.